Even before making the connection between drugs such as Vioxx and heart attacks, many doctors were becoming concerned that the heavily advertised drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors were being over-used, often by patients unlikely to benefit from this costly but innovative pharmaceutical class.
In the January 25, 2005, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University School of Medicine use data from the National Center for Health Statistics to show that most of the growth in COX-2 use between 1999 and 2002 occurred in patients at little risk for side effects from the drugs COX-2s were developed to replace.
"We found a rapid nationwide shift away from older, inexpensive drugs with better established safety and efficacy to newer, costly drugs with no real history," said study author G. Caleb Alexander, M.D., M.S., instructor of medicine and a member of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.
John Easton | EurekAlert!
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